Senate File 125 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to the establishment of a needle exchange
2program by the Iowa department of public health.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 124.414, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code
22019, is amended to read as follows:
   3b.  “Drug paraphernalia” does not include hypodermic needles
4or syringes if manufactured, delivered, sold, or possessed
5for a lawful purpose. For purposes of this section, “lawful
6purpose”
includes hypodermic needles or syringes delivered,
7sold, or possessed through an approved needle exchange program
8established pursuant to section 135.26A and rules adopted by
9the department of public health.

10   Sec. 2.  Section 135.11, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
11following new subsection:
12   NEW SUBSECTION.  30.  Administer a needle exchange program
13pursuant to section 135.26A in cooperation with cities,
14counties, and nongovernmental organizations.
15   Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  135.26A  Needle exchange program.
   161.  For purposes of this section:
   17a.  “Needle exchange program” means a program that promotes
18scientifically proven ways of mitigating health risks
19associated with drug use and other high-risk behaviors that is
20designated and approved by the department and implemented by a
21city, county, or nongovernmental organization.
   22b.  “Residual amount” means an amount of a controlled
23substance not exceeding twenty-five milligrams.
   242.  A needle exchange program is created in the department
25and shall be administered by a division of the department
26in cooperation with cities, counties, and nongovernmental
27organizations.
   283.  a.  The objectives of a needle exchange program
29established pursuant to this section shall be all of the
30following:
   31(1)  To reduce the spread of viral hepatitis, HIV, and other
32medical illnesses caused by infectious agents.
   33(2)  To reduce needle-stick injuries to law enforcement
34officers and other emergency personnel.
   35(3)  To encourage persons who inject drugs to enroll in
-1-1evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders.
   2b.  A needle exchange program shall offer all of the
3following:
   4(1)  Disposal sites for used hypodermic needles and
5syringes.
   6(2)  Hypodermic needles, syringes, and other injection
7supplies at no cost and in quantities sufficient to ensure that
8hypodermic needles, syringes, and other injection supplies are
9not shared or reused.
   10(3)  Educational materials or referrals including
11information on all of the following:
   12(a)  Overdose prevention and naloxone administration,
13including access to kits that contain naloxone.
   14(b)  The prevention of HIV, viral hepatitis, endocarditis,
15and other bacterial infections associated with intravenous drug
16use.
   17(c)  HIV and hepatitis C testing.
   18(d)  Evidence-based treatment for persons with substance use
19disorders.
   20(e)  Treatment for persons with mental illness.
   214.  An employee of, or a volunteer or participant in, a
22needle exchange program shall not be charged with or prosecuted
23for possession of any of the following:
   24a.  A hypodermic needle, syringe, or other injection supply
25item obtained from or returned to a needle exchange program.
   26b.  A residual amount of a controlled substance contained
27in a used hypodermic needle, used hypodermic syringe, or used
28injection supply item obtained from or returned to a needle
29exchange program.
   305.  a.  Subsection 4 only applies if an employee of, or a
31volunteer or participant in, a needle exchange program claiming
32immunity provides, upon request of a law enforcement officer,
33a needle exchange program identification card issued by the
34department verifying that a hypodermic needle, syringe, or
35other injection supply item was obtained by the participant
-2-1from a needle exchange program authorized pursuant to this
2section.
   3b.  A needle exchange program identification card shall
4include a unique identifying number assigned to each individual
5needle exchange program participant and must be verifiable by
6the department.
   76.  If a law enforcement officer in good faith issues a
8charge in violation of subsection 4, the law enforcement
9officer shall not be held civilly or criminally liable.
   107.  The Iowa department of public health shall adopt rules
11pursuant to chapter 17A to administer this section.
12EXPLANATION
13The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
14the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   15This bill relates to the establishment of a needle exchange
16program by the Iowa department of public health (DPH). The
17bill creates a needle exchange program to be administered by
18DPH in cooperation with cities, counties, and nongovernmental
19organizations.
   20The bill defines “needle exchange program” as a program that
21promotes scientifically proven ways of mitigating health risks
22associated with drug use and other high-risk behaviors that
23is designated and approved by DPH and implemented by a city,
24county, or nongovernmental organization.
   25The objectives of a needle exchange program established
26pursuant to the bill include reducing the spread of viral
27hepatitis, HIV, and other medical illnesses caused by
28infectious agents, reducing needle-stick injuries to
29law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel,
30and encouraging persons who inject drugs to enroll in
31evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders.
   32A needle exchange program established pursuant to the bill
33shall offer disposal sites for used hypodermic needles and
34syringes; hypodermic needles, syringes, and other injection
35supplies at no cost and in quantities sufficient to ensure that
-3-1hypodermic needles, syringes, and other injection supplies are
2not shared or reused; and educational materials that include
3information relating to overdose prevention and naloxone
4administration, including access to kits that contain naloxone;
5the prevention of HIV, viral hepatitis, endocarditis, and other
6bacterial infections associated with intravenous drug use; HIV
7and hepatitis C testing; evidence-based treatment for persons
8with substance use disorders; and treatment for persons with
9mental illness.
   10The bill provides that an employee of, or a volunteer or
11participant in, a needle exchange program shall not be charged
12with or prosecuted for possession of a hypodermic needle,
13syringe, or other injection supply item obtained from or
14returned to a needle exchange program or a residual amount of
15a controlled substance contained in a used hypodermic needle,
16used hypodermic syringe, or used injection supply item obtained
17from or returned to a needle exchange program. “Residual
18amount” is defined as an amount of a controlled substance not
19exceeding 25 milligrams. This immunity provision applies only
20if the person claiming immunity provides, upon request of a law
21enforcement officer, a needle exchange program identification
22card issued by DPH verifying that a hypodermic needle, syringe,
23or other injection supply item was obtained from a needle
24exchange program authorized pursuant to the bill. A needle
25exchange program identification card shall include a unique
26identifying number assigned to each individual needle exchange
27program participant and must be verifiable by DPH.
   28The bill provides that if a law enforcement officer in good
29faith issues a charge in violation of the immunity provisions
30of the bill, the law enforcement officer shall not be held
31civilly or criminally liable.
   32The bill provides that DPH shall adopt rules pursuant to Code
33chapter 17A to administer the bill.
   34Under current law, a person who illegally manufactures,
35delivers, sells, or possesses drug paraphernalia commits a
-4-1simple misdemeanor under Code section 124.414. The bill makes
2a conforming Code change to Code section 124.414 by exempting
3hypodermic needles or syringes delivered, sold, or possessed
4through the needle exchange program established in the bill
5from the definition of drug paraphernalia.
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